How to Create a Windows 7 Reset Disk

Monica Webster
blog post reset disk

A Windows password reset disk is purposefully created in advance to restore access to Windows if you’ve forgotten your password. You don’t need any technical experience, just a USB drive or external hard drive to store the reset file on.

Once you create the reset disk, keep it safe. You can use it in the future to quickly reset your password and regain access to your user account.

First, we’ll show you how to create the reset disk and then we’ll show you how to use it, if you forget your password. If you’ve already forgotten your password, and you haven’t created a password reset disk, I’m afraid you’ll have to find another way to get back into Windows.

Creating the password reset disk

  1. Insert the USB flash drive or external hard drive into your computer.

  2. In the Windows search box, type “reset” and select Create a password reset disk.

    reset disk control panel
  3. Click Next when the Forgotten Password Wizard appears.

    reset disk wizard
  4. The wizard will ask you which drive you want to create the disk on. Select Removable Disk (E:) or USB (F:) from the drop-down list. This is your drive.

    reset disk progress bar
  5. Wait until the progress bar is 100%. Click Next and Finish.

  6. A confirmation window should pop up saying, “You’ve successfully reset the password for this user account.” Congratulations!

Using your reset disk when you’ve forgotten your password

  1. Type in a wrong password to make Reset Password appear just below the password box.

    Make sure your USB drive is connected and click Reset Password and then Next.

  2. Once the Password wizard appears, select Removable Disk (E:) or USB (F:) and click Next.

  3. The wizard will then ask you to create a new password and a password hint. Once you do this, click Next.

A confirmation window should pop-up to show you’ve successfully reset your password. You can now log in as normal with your new password.

Keep your reset disk in a safe place

Your reset disk can be used again should you ever forget your password again. This is why it’s crucial to keep your reset disk hidden since anyone can use it to gain access to your account and steal your files or sensitive information.

Password reset disks for other accounts

The password reset disk you’ve created won’t work for other users or other users on different computers. You must create separate password reset disks by logging into the account you want to create it for.

You can, however, use the same USB drive to store the different reset disks on. The only catch is that you must never change the filename or extension and you must save them in separate folders. All password reset files use the extension “userkey.psw”. Windows will only scan the PSW file that is at the root of the USB drive, so you don’t want Windows to scan the wrong password reset file and complicate matters further.

When it’s time to use the reset file, use a different computer to move the right file from the folder into the root of the USB drive, so Windows can scan the correct file.

Get rid of password stress forever

Being locked out of your account with no password reset disk? We feel your pain. Luckily, there are a few preventative measures you can take to stop you forgetting your passwords again. While we encourage you to create strong, complex passwords we also know that they’re impossible to remember. NordPass remembers all your login details, automatically fills online forms for you, and helps you create secure passwords in just one click.

If you struggle to remember your passwords, try using a password manager like NordPass. It stores and encrypts all of your passwords, making them impenetrable to hackers, should your laptop ever get lost or stolen.

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